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This Spotted Orchid was growing in the grassland beneath Killclooney Dolmen near Portnoo in South West County Donegal, Ireland. It was on peaty acidic soil.
Botanical name: “Dactylorhiza maculata”
Wild orchids depend on a special relationship between their roots and certain fungus. (The particular fungus varies with the type of orchid.)
It is thought that the mycelium (thread-like growths through the soil) of the fungus provide nutrients to the tiny orchid seeds. Without the fungus in the soil, the orchid seed will not germinate. Some orchids require the presence of the mycelium throughout their lives some need it only at the time of seed germination.
The spotted orchid is one that requires the fungus through-out its life and would die slowly over the next year if a fungicide was to be applied to its surrounding soil. Similarly if you wanted to transplant this orchid you would need to “transplant” about a cubic meter of soil around around it in order to be sure of bringing its mycelium infrastructure.
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Techie Photography detail:
Image Mode: Raw
Lens: EF24-70mm f/2.8L USM zoom (at 70mm),
Camera: Canon 5d
Exposure: f11 1/125